How safe do you think the locks on your front door are? Yes, I'm talking about both your handle lock and deadbolt. How safe are they? And, do you know if they're bump-resistant? I ask these questions because there may be folks right here in Billings using bump keys to break into homes and steal belongings. Don't know what a bump key is? Well, let me explain.

What is key bumping?

A bump key is a special type of key that is designed to be struck with an object while it is inside a key cylinder. The "bump" then causes the pins inside the cylinder to be knocked upward, allowing the perpetrator to turn the lock at the moment they're aligned without having to force entry or meticulously pick the lock. According to a news report from KPIX, bump keys have been around for around 70 years, but because of the Internet, you can buy them for cheap.

This may be happening right now in Billings.

A Billings resident on the site NextDoor made a post on Monday (02/14) talking about how her house was burglarized the previous day, with all of her money being stolen. According to the police, there was no forced entry, so they assumed that whoever did this must have had a key. But, with bump keys being so cheap to acquire, it's more likely that the perpetrator had their own set of bump keys and was able to enter her home easier.

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The best thing to do to prevent key bumping at your home is to purchase a lock that doesn't have springs or is bump-resistant. You can find all kinds of different bump-resistant locks here. Be safe out there, Billings.

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